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Chief Dental Officer: New Appointment

Lord Colwyn asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Hunt of Kings Health: In Modernising NHS Dentistry: Implementing the NHS Plan, the Government recognise that dentistry needs to be made a higher priority across the whole National Health Service. I am delighted that Dame Margaret Seward has joined the NHS Executive to help with that. During her time as Chief Dental Officer, Dame Margaret will concentrate specifically on the dental strategy and will provide an experienced and expert focus for a wider team implementing the measures that the strategy contains. I have every confidence in Dame Margaret's ability to make a significant contribution to its success.

Residential, Nursing Home and Intermediate Care: Allocation of Funds

Lord Lipsey asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Hunt of Kings Heath: Details of what is covered by the £360 million and the £900 million are set out in paragraphs 15.18 and 15.14 of the NHS Plan, copies of which are available in the Library. The proposed allocation of funds to enable the NHS and local councils to achieve these and other service improvements announced in the NHS Plan will be set out in the NHS and local government allocation announcements in the autumn. In line with government policy, resources will not be ring-fenced unless this is necessary to secure outcomes required.

Computers in Schools

The Earl of Northesk asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Minister for State, Department for Education and Employment (Baroness Blackstone): Statistics published by the Department for Education and Employment on 6 September indicated that there is one computer for every 12.6 pupils in primary schools, and for every 7.9 pupils in secondary schools. This compares well with the corresponding figures from 1998 (when there was an average of one computer for every 17.6 pupils in primary schools, and for every 8.7 pupils in secondary schools) and demonstrates that schools are on course to meet the challenging targets which we have set for 2004--computer to pupil ratios in primary and secondary schools of 1:8 and 1:5 respectively.

The average number of computers per school, and the average number of computers per school available mainly for curriculum purposes, will be included in a further statistical bulletin due for publication on 11 October. As with the highly encouraging Internet connectivity figures referred to in the Question, these data will be based on a survey of schools conducted in April 2000.

Ministers' Speeches to Parliament: Release to Media

Lord Shore of Stepney asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Lord Privy Seal (Baroness Jay of Paddington): The GICS Handbook makes it clear that if a Minister is to make a statement in Parliament, it is helpful to provide the Press Gallery with copies of the text on the understanding that they undertake not to use the statement until it has been checked against delivery. This has been the practice of successive Administrations. There are no plans to change existing practice. Copies of The GICS Handbook are in the Library of the House and on the GICS website www.gics.gov.uk/handbook.



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